Persian interpreter told to translate Persian into Persian

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Maybe not worthy of a post of its own but this made me chuckle:

Somebody next to the interpreter must have been nudging him and asking why he wasn't doing anything while the Iranian foreign minister was talking.


New is even better than before just got a lot better, with one notable feature in particular: the option to show the translation of a word above it, instead of replacing the word. That makes it look like this:

Having the translation on a different line makes it look a little like a certain book or two of mine.

He also asked whether the font used for the line above is a bit too 'cute', and it would be if that were the only font (I couldn't imagine reading a whole book in that) but as a word here and there it stands out nicely and almost looks like somebody has scribbled in the meaning above on a notebook or something, giving it a very natural look.


My newest creation: Kaiser Wilhelm II in exile

Monday, March 23, 2015

I have an announcement coming soon relating to a third book.

In the meantime I've also created an account for Kaiser Wilhelm II after his exile, where he is tweeting his memoirs, in German followed by English, one sentence at a time. This fictitious 2015 Wilhelm II came into being because 1) tweeting a book a sentence at a time in two languages like this is a good way to internalize the content, and 2) I could totally see him doing that if Twitter happened to be available at the time. Cut down trees during the day, tweet memoirs at night.

Extra bonus points if you recognize the username without having to google it. Olivier already answered that on Facebook so somebody else can give it a shot.


Some other Demian Hörbuch - abridged and dramatized this time

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Well, actually not just abridged. A bit more on that later.

Back in 2008 I bought the audiobook for Demian read by a single voice actor, containing the entire book unabridged. In 2011 I then wrote out the whole book bit by bit as I listened a few seconds at a time (a method I detailed here), which took three weeks at 8+ hours a day and resulted near the end in two bleeding knuckles. It was interesting to learn that the simple motion of using a pencil will do that when done too much.

And then in 2012 I created and published the interlinear translation of the book. In short, this is a book I know better than any other.

That being said, I don't do any peripheral activities with it - no reviews, no gathering with other fans of the book online or off, so I never knew about this dramatized audiobook version that apparently was recorded in 2002. The regular audiobook I have is over six hours, and this version is around two, so it is abridged in many places.

So here's a quick review. If I were to sum it up quickly it would be: for someone who really knows the book it is thoroughly entertaining. If you don't, you'll find it chaotic and difficult to follow.

This recording doesn't just abridge the book, however, it also adds some content and changes the wording from time to time (I heard a "guck mal!" once or twice).

The first part with Franz Kromer is very well done, and up to about the twenty minute mark it follows the book faithfully, and it is very absorbing. Later on in that video (and others) there are a few minutes cut out here and there, so the version that people have uploaded and are passing around is somewhat incomplete. I may buy the full version of this as well so I can hear the missing parts.

Then Demian shows up, and much of the abridging starts. Demian is played as well as one can expect, but they have done a few things that don't sit well with me. Little of what he said was abridged but the timing has been changed. For example when he talked a bit too much in the classroom and seemed to regret it, in the book it wasn't until later that he said "wir reden zu viel", but in the audiobook here he said that right away...and then it didn't even have the later part of that scene where he goes into himself (goes into a kind of trance) in the classroom, which is one of the more important parts of the book.

After that Demian is gone, just like in the book...but then they decide they are going to jam in some content from Unterm Rad in there, a much earlier book Hesse wrote about the pressures of being a gifted student. All of a sudden they're talking about classrooms named Germania and Athens, Sinclair is brought before the headmaster and seems much more timid than he was in Demian, and these few minutes they decided to shoehorn in could have been used to unabridge some of the abridged content. If it was the full book plus some others (Kinderseele for example feels like a prologue, some parts of other books of his I've thought could be fit in to expand it one wanted to) I wouldn't mind.

Back to Demian: in the book the part between Demian leaving Sinclair's town and them meeting again is very long, and in the middle Sinclair mentions that actually there was a quick meeting in the town when he was in his smoking and drinking and carousing (okay, pretending to carouse) period. The audiobook takes this and moves it to when it actually happens, which really cuts down on Demian's absence, basically turning him into a character who never went away. That makes Sinclair's lonely search for enlightenment less poignant since throughout Demian is always around the corner, and Sinclair just finds a few fun people to learn new things from. Then poof, Demian's there again and the reader never gets a sense for how alone Sinclair was for so long.

The Pistorius part was done well. Especially the parts where Pistorius is about to get into the subject of this or that ancient religion and Sinclair cuts him off is exactly how I pictured it.

Then Frau Eva shows up and hm, they've given her an old lady voice. Not a fan. The book stresses over and over again that nothing about her gives the impression of a mother of a young adult. Oh, and it cut out the part where Sinclair goes to Demian's old house, sees her picture, tries to find her but fails, another part that would have been great to keep in to stress how alone he was. Instead Sinclair just happens across Demian and he says "come meet my mother!" and suddenly Sinclair is meeting her mother, who seems just like some regular mother.

In short: don't listen unless you've read the book. And do listen if you have, because you'll still enjoy it in spite of the parts that annoy.


England's treason act of 1351, still written in Norman French

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Now this is interesting, a law still on the books with the original Norman French available to read as well.

It's both readable and unreadable. Here are the words that I either don't know or have some doubts about.

auxint p'ceo
Cõe - court, probably
esteiantz - being?


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